Analyzing the Values in the Built Heritage of Chettinadu Region, Tamil Nadu, India
Chettinadu, a region in southern India, is situated in Tamil Nadu State 32 km from the west coast of the Bay of Bengal with a total area of 1,550 square kilometers in the heart of Tamil Nadu. The built heritage of Chettinadu is an irreplaceable cultural resource giving it a unique identity and character. In the tentative list of UNESCO 2014, the Chettinadu region has been classified into three clusters based on their Outstanding Universal Values and this provides a framework for our research.The region has experienced a tremendous amount of change from its original design and the old buildings are mirrors of the procession of history and culture that together have formed the heritage of the town. Well known for its palatial mansions with their unique architectural style, the conservation of old buildings is a must in retaining the character of the city. In this paper we studied the historical background of heritage areas and buildings in the Chettinadu region and attempted to establish the values in the built heritage by means of a selected set of variables. To achieve this objective various parameters were analyzed as how the values of the built heritage contribute to the unique sociocultural flavor of Chettinadu. Social, cultural, historical, and architectural values all enhance the image of the town, but assessing their relative importance for purposes of urban planning is a significant challenge. This analysis support the evolution of strategies targeted at preserving and enhancing the built heritage of the region. The varied heritage potential based on the values will help planners and developers to create sustainable programs for modernizing the infrastructure while protecting the inherent values of the built heritage of Chettinadu.
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